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Managing Customer Relationships: A Strategic Framework, 2nd Edition by Martha Rogers, Don Peppers

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Chapter 4

Identifying Customers

It wasn’t raining when Noah built the Ark.

—Howard Ruff

Before any relationship can start, both parties have to know each other’s identities and be able to build a comprehensive view of the other. The goal of identifying customers refers not so much to figuring out which customers we want (that comes later) but to recognizing each customer as that customer each time we come in contact with her and then linking those different data points to develop a full picture of each particular customer. This chapter addresses the issue of “identify” for consumers as well as for business customers and defines the different elements of this “identify” task. We also address frequency marketing in the context of customer identification.

All enterprises use information about their customers to make smarter decisions. But for most traditional marketing decisions and actions, information is really needed only at the aggregate, or market, level. That is, any marketer needs to know the average demand for a particular product feature within a population of prospective customers, or the range of prices that this market population will find attractive. The enterprise then uses this information to plan its production and distribution as well as its marketing and sales activities.

But building relationships with customers necessarily involves making decisions and taking actions at the level of the individual customer, using customer-specific information in addition to ...

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